Optus and Venture Insights Connectivity Report 2020: Lack of tech expertise holding back SMBs
The Optus and Venture Insights Connectivity Report 2020, which surveyed 600 small and medium-sized businesses Australia-wide, has revealed that over 40% believe adopting smart technology to improve business efficiency will have the biggest impact on their business in the next three years.
But 31% are struggling to keep pace with technology changes critical to their business success.
The report surveyed the big business drivers of the economy, SMBs and found that many are failing to grasp the opportunities offered by new technologies and over a third (40%) admitted they are not actively protecting their business from cyber-attacks.
It also shows that Australian SMBs are reliant on fast and dependable connectivity with 36% believing advances in broadband and mobile services like 5G will have a large impact on their business. Almost half (47%) identified faster download and upload speeds as a benefit to their business.
Optus managing director of SMB Libby Roy says that with over two million Australian SMBs, the research clearly shows that business connectivity is critical to drive economic resilience and prosperity.
“Poor connectivity can leave businesses in a digital hole. By adopting the latest digital and connectivity tools available today, SMBs can be better equipped to make their business more productive and successful,” she says.
“The power of 5G is also an untapped opportunity for many SMBs to have digital at their core transforming the way they work and operate.”
One of the biggest barriers currently preventing SMBs from digitising includes the lack of investment in specialist digital tools, training and knowledge. The top two factors that would help them adopt new technologies are: a clear understanding of the benefits (42%), and greater internal skills and training (39%).
“This report shows over half of SMBs do not fully understand the benefits that fast, reliable connectivity and 5G could bring to their business,” Libby adds.
“There is a clear opportunity to educate and support SMBs to help them understand and take advantage of the benefits. Now is the time for businesses to prioritise digitisation and upskill their staff to improve their productivity and competitiveness, allowing them to not only survive, but thrive in the future as they recover from this exceptional period.”
The report also revealed that improvements in network speeds and performance will be important in helping businesses increase their efficiency and productivity, with many companies looking to 5G to unlock opportunities.
Nearly two thirds of the SMBs believe that the arrival of the 5G network will be important for their business and 75% say they would consider upgrading to 5G when it’s available to them.
“Connectivity is more important than ever for businesses, whether it is for sustaining business operations remotely, connecting with customers anywhere, or efficient remote monitoring of assets and inventory,” Venture Insights managing director Nigel Pugh explains.
“With SMBs as the engine room of the Aussie economy, their continued success and digitisation are critical for the nation.”